Magazine Fall 2011
Northwestern State University of Louisiana
In the Movies
Dr. Randall J. Webb, 1965. 1966
President, Northwestern State University
On July 1, I was privileged to be able to celebrate 15
years as president of Northwestern State University. It has
been an honor to serve this fine institution and play a role in providing educational
opportunities for students.
Any university president inherits a legacy that has to do with the accomplishments
of students, alumni and faculty and staff and the work done by administrators, board
members and legislators. You stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before
you. I have been fortunate to know many of the outstanding people who have served
Northwestern over the years and it is humbling to follow in their footsteps.
Northwestern is a different institution that it was in the mid-1990s and the changes
made over the years have helped the university grow.
More private scholarships for students and support for faculty are available due to
the generosity of alumni and friends of Northwestern. Renovation has brought new life
to Russell Hall, Morrison Hall, Williamson Hall and the Family and Consumer Sciences
Building. The Intramural Building is now the Wellness, Recreation and Activity Center,
which is heavily used by students, faculty, staff, alumni and fnends of NSU. A new
Student Support Center will open In January and we soon hope to start a renovation
project on East Caspan Hall. Northwestern also replaced outdated residence halls with
University Place Phase I and II.
Northwestern has instituted admissions standards for the first time, helping us
attract better students. The average ACT score of incoming freshmen at NSU exceed
the state and national average. Retention rates have increased. The university set
records for the number of graduates in a calendar year in 2010 (1,955) and for the
number of graduates in an academic year in 2010-11 (2,043).
E-learning has become increasingly important for Northwestern. The university
has 28 degree programs online, more than any other public college or university in the
state. More than half of the students at NSU take an online class each semester.
Through all the changes, our faculty and staff have never lost their focus on
student success. At Northwestern, we are in the life changing business and we work to
be a positive force for change every day.
I am proud to be an alumnus of Northwestern State University. I thank you for your
continued support of this special university.
William Drake Owens, 2004, 2005
Director of University Advancement
My fellow Alumni,
By the time this edition of Alumni Columns reaches you.
we will be in our final preparations for Homecoming 2011. I
hope that many of you are planning to join us for an exciting
weekend of activities, reunions and celebration.
We have much to be thankful for at NSU. As you may know, we are now in our
final year of our capital campaign, "Excellence: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow." As
we near our goal, please know how appreciative the NSU family is to you, our deeply
supportive alumni. Your positive response to our campaign will play an invaluable role
in ensunng that our alma mater remains a vibrant place of learning and discovery and
a resource to the entire northwest Louisiana region. We ask that you continue to do all
that you can to support Northwestern, through your gifts, your presence at events or by
encouraging prospective student to explore what we have to offer.
NSU has a nch hentage and a vision of excellence. With your assistance we are
able to continue to move forv/ard toward a bnght future.
Official Publication of
Northwestern State Lni\ersity
Organized in 1 SS4
A member of C.-XSL
Volume X.XI Number 3 Fall 2011
The Alumni C olumns (USPS (115480) is published
quarterl) by Northwestern State University.
Natchitoches. Louisiana. 71497-0002
Periodicals Postage Paid at Natchitoches. La..
and at additional mailing offices.
POSIMAS TLR: Send address changes to the
Alumni Columns. Northwestern State Lni\ersil\.
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Alumni Ollice Phone: 318-357-4414 and 888-799-6486
FAX: 318-357^225 • F:-mail: owensdw nsula.edu
NSt ALUMNI OFFICERS
President Joseph H. Slamey. Natchitoches. 1983
Vice President Tommy Chester. NatchiliKhcs. 1969
Secretary -Treasurer Dr. Lisa Mathews. Uenton. 1992
F.xecutive Director W. Drake Owens.
Natchitoches. 2004, 2005
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Matt Bailey Shrcveport 2003
Jerry Brungart Nalchitix-hes. 1969. 1971
Monty C hicola Alexandria. 1979. 1980
Leonard Fndris Shrevepon. 1974. 1975
Ken (iuidry NatchittKhes. 1972
Bobby lleben New Orleans. 1983
Ires Hill Carencro. 1985
Adrian Howard Bedford. TX. 1989
Patricia Hrapmann New Orleans, 1973. 1978
(iail Jones NalchcA 1981. 1998
Matt Kour>' Leesxille. 1995
.Angela Lasyone Natchitoches. 1986
Bryant Lewis Haynessillc. 195K
Carroll Long Longvicw. TX. 1970
l)a\id Morgan Austin. TX. 1973
Kip Patrick Washington, DC, 1995
ClillPoimboeuf Shrc\cpoa 1984
Denise Que/aire Baton Rouge. 2005
(ilenn I'albert Shrexeport. 1964
Casey Jo Thompson Shrexeport. 2001
( arlos Treadway Northville. Ml. 1992
Marti \iennc Natchitoches. 1982
Rick> Walmsley Rogers. AR. 1985
Mike Wilbum Shre\epon. 1975
l)r Leonard Williams New Orleans. 1993
t harles "Buddy" Wood Many. 1981
Mark Daniels New Orleans
Sd A President
Publisher W. Drake Owens. 2004. 2(X)5
Fdilor Leah Pilcher JacLson. 1994
( iintributoni Da\ id Wc-sl
Di>ug Ireland. 1986
Major Alan Hardin. 1990
Photography Ciar\ Hardamon
Dcsign/Layoul Beth McPherson Mann. 1975
NSC Press Publications Office
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Associate. Baccalaurvate. Master and .Specialist degrcos.
It IS the policy of Northwestern Stale I'niversitv of I^ouisiami
not to discriminate on the bums of race, color. reliRion.
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Cover Photo illustration with pyrotechnics created by Blake "Tricky" LeVasseur
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In the Movies
Alumni find different roles in film projects
'ver the last several years, Louisiana has gained a reputation as the place to
Financial incentives, geographic diversity and enthusiastic crews are steadily attracting
Hollywood filmmakers to "L.A. South," and more than a few Northwestern alumni are
getting in on the action.
Chad Watson (1998)
caught the movie bug shortly
after Hurricane Katrina
forced the filming of 'The
Guardian" from New Orleans
to Shreveport. Since then,
he has worked as both extra
and/or crew member on films
that include "Green Lan-
tern," "Breaking Dawn" and
"Playing the Field," rubbing
elbows with Hollywood heavyweights like Nicolas Cage.
He also appeared in a Wrangler jeans commercial that
features Brett Favre throwing a football around with his
This past summer, Watson was working as a pro-
duction assistant for "Leatherface 3D," a remake of the
horror classic "Texas Chainsaw Massacre," filmed on
location in Mansfield, where he was overseeing the set.
"As a production assistant, you do whatever the pro-
duction manager tells you to. 1 love my job," he said. "I
Chad Watson worked long, hot days on the set of
"Leatherface 3D" over the summer.
www. north v^esternalumni.com
have no problem waking up at 3 a.m. to go to work."
After four weeks on set, he lost 1 8 pounds, averaged
four hours of sleep per night and saw 1 1 people hacked to
A Haughton native, Watson, earned a math education
degree at NSU and was teaching at North DeSoto High
School when he heard about a casting call for extras in
"The Guardian." He's been a movie buff all his life, he
"1 auditioned and waited in a long line," he said. "I
was in a scene with Ashton Kutcher that got deleted.
Lesson learned: sometimes you put in a 15-hour day for
But the experience inspired Watson to quit teaching
and pursue a fiill-time career in the industry.
"1 kept working as an extra and have been on the
crew for two years. You work with some of the same
people over and over again," he said. "There is a lot
of networking and I've been fortunate to have steady
work traveling between New Orleans, Baton Rouge and
His first job on the crew was in filming "Battle: Los
Angeles," in which he also appeared as an extra. In ad-
dition to working on the crew, he is always looking for
"One benefit of working in Louisiana is getting to
know crew members you meet from one project to the
next," said Watson. "I've worked with some amazing
professionals and it's often sad when it's a rap."
Watson's project following "Leatherface 3D" was
scheduled as "The Paperboy" with Matthew McCo-
naughey, Zac Efron and Tobey Maguire.
"Every actor 1 know sweats 90 percent of the year
worrying about their next job," he said. "Right now I'm
taking every movie job 1 can because 1 love it. It is a
blessing to be able to make movies in my hometown. I
do something I love every day of my life and get paid for
Blake "Tricky" LeVasseur (2002) puts his artistic
skills and technical know-how to use as one who cre-
ates sculptures and special effects for films. He can
create anything from Styrofoam buildings to realistic
continued on page 2
Alumni Columns Fall 201 1 / 1
Movies continued Jroiu pcn^e I
body parts, as well as orchestrate pyrotechnics, flip cars,
and coordinate smoke, fire, w ind and rain for specified
'■\\ hen you are in special effects, you ha\e to have
talents in several different areas... welding, molding, fab-
rication. e\en as a seamstress, when you're sewing blood
packs into clothing and making fake body parts." he said.
Pyrotechnics coordinated by
Blake "Tricl<y" LeVasseur exploded on set.
Below, LeVasseur operates a smoke machine.
"I'm like MacGyver. I have to figure out how to make
stunts happen, whether it's flipping a car o\er or creating
As a kid, LeVasseur "was always building things and
rigging stuff up." He enrolled at NSU as an art major
focused on sculpture but changed to graphic design. Ffe's
been working with movies for four years.
Working in the business is "all about who you know,"
he said. He sent out numerous resumes before getting
his first job as a back-up sculptor for "\'ear One." \o that
job, he said, he gave 1 10 percent, earning a position as
lead sculptor on another project. He was lead sculptor for
"Breaking Dawn." v\ here he created a castle, statues, rock
walls and other objects out olSlyrolbam that were then
painted by artists.
As for special effects, he started out learning how to
build and use machines to control smoke, w ind. rain and
"\'ou can learn as much as \ou want as you go
along," he said. "The effects guy gave me a chance and
next thing 1 know V\c got a taick and Tm running a
LeVasseur obtained a required explosives license and
routinely coordinates gas explosions and other blow-ups.
Working on "The Hxpendables" offered plenty of op-
portunities for explosions, flipping cars and pyrotechnics.
"Those are long days, sometimes 12-16 hours, and
it's fatiguing. It can be stressful," he said. "It takes a toll
on family life."
Creating special effects for one scene in "Battle: Los
Angeles" involved hand making and wrapping 90-95
explosives. "It took a lot of man hours. Then they blew
up in five seconds."
LeVasseur w orks mainly in Louisiana, but has
worked on some commercials that were filmed out of
state. Like Chad Watson, w ith w hom he has w orked on
previous projects," he w as occupied last summer w ith
"Leatherface 3D." a film with no computer-generated
"It's old school." he said.
Perks of the jobs are rubbing shoulders with stars like
Sylvester Stalone, Jessica Biel, Gerard Butler. Stone Cold
Steve Austin and Kim Kardashian.
"In special etTects, you often work one on one w ith
an actor and \ou de\elop a relationship w iih them." he
said. "When you are putting an explosi\ e de\ ice on an
actor or stuntman's chest, they trust that it was built cor-
It's a profession he ne\ er expected.
"I never would have guessed that Holl\ wood would
come find me." he said.
Kendrick Hudson (2001 ) is a location manager and
an independent producer. He serves as a liaison between
propertN ow ncrs and the production crew and has a hand
in logistics and security.
"It's a little bit of everv thing." he said. "I always
wanted to be a filmmaker. I studied theatre in college and
always had that entertainment bug."
After graduating from NSU w ith a general studies
degree, the Shre\eport native followed his dream to Los
Angeles, where he worked on films directed by .lames
Cameron and ()li\er Stone as well as other projects, run-
ning errands and "working my wa\ up the chain."
He has been doing scouting work in Shrexeport lor
about se\ en years and has w orked on "Soul Man." "W."
"\ I lope The\ Ser\e Beer in Hell" and "Trespass."
Working as a freelancer, he's ne\er sure what his next
project will be. but said the creati\e side of his job is his
favorite. He plans to continue work in the business and
sees himself producing films in the future.
"linding a IcKation that makes a cut in the movie and
know ing 1 had a part in it. Lhe \ isibilit\ is the biggest reward.
2 / Alumni Columns fjll j!iV I
Visit our website at:
Hollie E. Townsend
(2004) and her husband
--:^^™ Tom Townsend II (2004,
f^^^B "^^ ^^^^1 2005) have appeared as
^^^Mfu^fnJ^^^^M Sutras in three movies
filmed in Shreveport.
"The Better Man," later renamed "Welcome Home Ros-
coe Jenkins," starring Martin Lawrence; "Major Movie
Star" featuring Jessica Simpson and "Butter" with Jen-
Townsend earned bachelors degrees in general stud-
ies and professional writing at NSU and her husband
earned a master's degree in English.
"Filming was great," she said. "My husband and I
were cast as extras. We were used in the background.
For 'Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins' and 'Major Movie
Star,' after we went to casting calls. For 'Butter,' howev-
er, the people contacted us. Being on set with the direc-
tors and other cast member was an awesome experience.
We got to meet Martin Lawrence. That was very cool.
"Other than being in a few plays when I was younger,
I have never done anything like the movie work," she
said. "It was something 1 was interested in doing in order
to expand my resume, get me noticed by other movie pro-
ducers, and give me more material to use in my writing.
I met nice people on the set — hard-working people like
you and me. It was a great experience, and 1 have been
listening to the news, waiting for an announcement about
the next movie. Hopefully, they will call us."
Not all modem filmmakers are enthralled with the
glamour of Tinsel Town, however Hollie Carter of
Atlanta, Ga., (1978) released a documentary last year
through her non-profit organization. Peaceful Blue
Planet Foundation. Carter, an educator, curriculum writer
and environmental educator, directed the documentary
"Conejos, Undiscovered Colorado," which focuses on
eco-tourism. Its premier in Aspen, Colo., last year was
"The movie encourages people to explore nature
and enjoy the land without leaving a footprint," she
explained. "When people get out into nature, they care
more about it."
The film's host and producer, Chris Collins, a leading
member of Peaceful Blue Planet, is featured in exchanges
with local residents about Conejos and leads the viewer
on a tour of the rugged, scenic area near the New Mexico
border. As an educator for the past 19 years, Hollie
promotes the film's connection to history, geology and
Carter studied speech and drama at Northwestern and
voices public service announcements for Peaceful Blue
Planet. Although she has been involved in the perform-
ing arts most of her life the Conejos project was her first
foray into film. Interest in that medium mns in the fam-
ily, however; both her sons attended film school to leam
digital media production, work as professional videogra-
phers and were involved with the filming and editing of
"We had a lot of fun filming it," Carter said, describ-
ing days in which equipment was hauled to locations via
backpack and the occasional packhorse. With a crew of
about 10 members all taking time off from their day
jobs - and a budget of $40,000 collected from donors,
shooting was completed in about 10 days.
"Everyone brought forth their expertise in the per-
forming arts, videography, reporting and artistic skills for
this documentary and it came together well," she said.
"It's been an important project."
An east coast premier of "Conejos, Undiscovered
Colorado" was planned for Sept. 2 in Raystown Lake,
Carter is interested in developing future films that
highlight other eco-tour locations and address environ-
The film is available on DVD. For more information,
visit PeacefiilBluePlanet.org. Readers can also search for
the film's Behind the Scenes page on Facebook.
Hollie Carter and a volunteer film crew worked on location
to create a film about ecotourism in Colorado.
The film was released by the non-profit group Peaceful Blue Planet.
Alumni Columns Fall 20 11 / 3
Homecoming weekend will soon be upon us and the NSU Alumni Association invites friends to join
in the festivities. Homecoming weekend is a time to meet with friends and classmates, reminisce about
memorable experiences and share stories from the good old days. Whether attending a departmental
reunion, supporting the Demons at the downtown pep rally or joining friends for tailgating festivities, we
hope to see you in Natchitoches Oct. 13-15.
Alumni Art Show ■ Hanchey Gallery
Thursday. October 13
7 p.m. - SAB Concert: Quest Crew opening for Ying
Yang Twins ■ A.A. Frederick's Auditorium
Friday. October 14
10 a.m. - Alumni Association Board Meeting - Red
River Waterway Commission Building
Noon - Homecoming Golf Tournament - NSU
1:30 p.m. - NSU Foundation Board Meeting ■ Red River
Waterway Commission Building
5 p.m. - Homecoming Parade will start at Prather
Coliseum and end at the Natchitoches
5:30 p.m. - Pep Rally - Riverbank
6-7 p.m. - Long Purple Line Reception - Hanchey
7 p.m. - Homecoming Banquet/Long Purple Line
Induction - Student Union Ballroom
8 p.m. - SAB Lip Sync @ A.A. Frederick's Auditorium
Saturday. October 15
8 a.m. - Homecoming 5K Fun Run/Walk - WRAC
9 a.m. - N Club Hall of Fame Induction - Magale
10 a.m. - College of Education and Human
Development Reunion - TEC
11 a.m. - School of Business Reception • Russell Hall,
Noon - Demon Regiment ROTC Open House -
James A. Noe Military Science Building
1 p.m. - Tailgating Activities - Collins Pavilion
(Free food and musical entertainment - bring the
5:30 p.m. - Pregame Activities - Turpin Stadium
(Honorees will be recognized.)
6 p.m. - NSU vs. Southeastern - Turpin Stadium
7:30 p.m. - Halftime Ceremonies • Turpin Stadium
(Honorees will be recognized.)
8 ■ 11 p.m. - Boogie on the Bricks - Front Street,
* Times and location of events is subject to change.
Please verify events through sponsoring departments
or by calling the Alumni Center at (318) 357-4414
or visiting northwesternalumni.com
4 / A/u/fi/n L\->/i//fi/!.'< f'j// A''/ /
Visit our wvb.sitcJ
SON Centennial continues with Fall reunion
The Spirit of Northwestern Demon IVIarching Band will continue to celebrate
the band's centennial with a fall reunion Friday, Sept. 30-Saturday, Oct. 1.
Friday's events include a recital by alumnus
Josh Arvizu, principal oboist with the U.S. Navy
Band in Washington, D.C. A reception for all
band alumni follows in Hanchey Gallery.
Those arriving too late for the recital are
encouraged to attend the reception.
Saturday's events include a tailgate party
prior to the NSU-McNeese football game and
recognition of alumni band members during
For more information, contact Jeff
Mathews, associate director of bands, at (318)
357-4450 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hernandez seeking partnerships, opportunities for School of Business
Antonio "Tony" Hernandez is
chief development officer for the
Northwestern State University School
of Business. The privately-funded
position was created to identify stake-
holders for the School of Business,
promote partnerships between the
school and the business community
and to develop programs that mutu-
ally benefit the students, alumni and
economic development initiatives.
Hernandez is a 1982 graduate
of Northwestern, where he earned a degree in social sciences
and was a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity. As a student, he
worked on campus in the recruiting and alumni offices be-
fore embarking on a career in customer service and corporate
sales for private companies. He returned to Northwestern as
assistant director of development in 2009. He began his duties
as chief development officer for the School of Business last
"My job is not only bringing in funds but also bringing in
corporate partners and business partners to help with recruiting,
job placement and internships," he said. He hopes his efforts
help create networking opportunities for students and busi-
Hernandez plans to organize social events for School of
Business graduates throughout Louisiana to encourage stew-
ardship and involvement in programs available to alumni and
supporters. He hopes to originate a School of Business wom-
en's group, resurrect a business law group and would like to
develop a Professional Advisors Association that would include
attorneys, accountants and financial advisors. The association
not only supports scholarship initiatives but also present fo-
rums for the public to address financial planning, tax issues and
other topics of interest. He is working to establish an endowed
professorship and would like to coordinate partnerships be-
tween the School of Business, the Natchitoches Area Chamber
of Commerce and the Small Business Development Center.
"We are excited to welcome Tony to this new position.
Tony is an energetic and dedicated individual and should
prove to be a great asset to and integral part of the School of
Business," said Dr. Nat Briscoe, professor and director of the
School of Business.
"The faculty in the School of Business are strong leaders
in fundraising efforts, in providing contacts and traveling with
me to meet prospective corporate partners," Hernandez said.
NSU alumnus David Morgan (1975) funded the position
with the intention that it will eventually be self-sufficient and
hopes to create interest in other individuals to initiate similar
positions for other academic disciplines.
"In these tough economic times, everyone has cut back and
NSU needs all the support it can get," Morgan said.
Hernandez is currently organizing a School of Business
Annual Campaign with four levels of stakeholder giving op-
portunities. His goal is to raise $500,000 by June 30, 2012.
Funds will be used for scholarship, student recruitment, faculty
research, job fairs and alumni initiatives.
For more information or the to explore opportunities
through the NSU School of Business, contact Hernandez at
(318) 357-4243 or e-mail hemandeza(a)nsula.edu .
Scholars' inaugural class will celebrate 20th anniversary
raduates of the Louisiana
Scholars' College are invited
to the 20-year reunion of the
inaugural class, on Oct. 7-9. The
event includes a Friday evening
dinner, a Saturday afternoon picnic
on the lawn near Russell Hall and
an evening function on Saturday.
Established in 1987 as the state's only designated honors college for liberal
arts, Scholars' offer students the opportunity to pursue their academic and
personal goals in a supportive atmosphere. The core curriculum combines
great books-based courses with courses in mathematics and sciences to pro-
vide students with a strong foundation for their more focused study in one of
our concentrations or in a traditional major.
For more information on the reunion or to be included on a mailing list, con-
tact Associate Director of Alumni Affairs Haley Blount at (318) 357-4415
or email@example.com or Andrea Elmore at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Alumni Columns Fall 201 7/5
Giddens named Louisiana Teacher of the Year
Northwestern State University alumna April
Jcssup Giddens. a sixth grade English 'language arts
teacher at Natchitoches Magnet School, was recog-
nized as Louisiana's 2012 Teacher of the Year during
the fifth annual Cecil J. Picard Educator Excellence
Svmposium and Celebration. Giddens earned a
bachelor's degree in elementary education at North-
western in 1996 and a master's degree in 1998. Dur-
ing her 15-year teaching career, she taught at NSU
Middle Lab School and for the last four years has
been at Natchitoches Magnet.
"I feel so blessed to be chosen. It's very hum-
bling and I'm very excited," Giddens said. "This
casts a positive light on Natchitoches and on North-
"Teachers like Ms. Giddens are the backbone of
our educational system," said Acting State Superin-
tendent ol' Education Ollie Tyler. "She and others
are shaping the lives and future of our children, and
we enjoy thanking them in this very special way."
Giddens was selected from 24 regional finalists
for Louisiana Teacher of the Year. She submitted a
portfolio May 27 and went through an interview pro-
cess prior to the symposium, which concluded with
a banquet and the awards ceremony. Also announced
during the event were the 201 1 Superintendent of
the Year, and the 2012 Teachers and Principals of
the Year for elementary, middle and high school.
Giddens' principal Julee Wright ( 19S3), a finalist for
Principal of the Year, and Natchitoches Parish Super-
iiilcndent of Schools Dr. Derwood Duke ( 1974) were
present when the award was presented.
Included among the many prizes Giddens
receives are use of a Mercedez-Benz for one year, a
SMART Board "^' with projector and software from
SMART Technologies and $5,000 from Dream
Teachers, a non-profit organization that recognizes
Louisiana educators and educational leaders.
The SMART technology and software "will be a
key component in my classroom this fall." Giddens
said. "There are parents whose children I will ha\e
as students this year who have let me know how
excited they are."
A graduate of Florien High School in 1992.
Giddens is married to Mike Ciiddens. a 1994 North-
western graduate, and has three children, Hannah,
Timothy and Emma. She credited the exceptional
teachers she had at EUirien, as well as her facull\
mentors at Northwestern, for her success.
"There are teachers I had at Florien and at Northwestern
who were strong role models for me," she said. "1 feel like 1
need to thank all those teachers for preparing me."
"These distinguished educators and educational lead-
ers are a fine representation of the high-qualit\ teachers and
principals we are fortunate to have in Louisiana." said Penny
Dastugue, president of the Board of EIementar\ and Second-
ary Education. "We should all thank them and recognize
them for their hard work to impro\ e the lives and futures of
In April 2012, Giddens represents Louisiana at the Na-
tional Teacher of the >'ear e\ent in Washmgton. D.C.. where
she and other \op teachers from around the countr\ will be
introduced to President Barak Obama.
"I w ish e\er\ teacher could get this award." Giddens
said. "I here are so main deserving teachers out there."
6 / Aliinini Coluiiuis F:ill 201 1
Visit our website a
A champ on and off the field
Trecey Rew's collegiate resume is
long, and strong.
Her NSU track and field career con-
cluded this summer with a spectacular
trifecta: winning a national champion-
ship, earning Academic All-America
honors, and being named the national
field events scholar-athlete of the year.
The icing on the cake came in early
August, when the Garland, Texas, native
was named the NCAA Division I Field
Events Women's Scholar-Athlete of
the Year by the U.S. Track & Field and
Cross Country Coaches Association.
Rew won the NCAA discus title
with a school-record of 192-4 throw on
June 8. She also earned second-team
All-America honors in the shot put by
finishing 1 5"^ at the 20 1 1 NCAA Champi-
onships in Des Moines, Iowa.
After graduating in May 2010 with
a 3.86 grade point average in broadcast
journalism, Rew posted a perfect 4.0 in
her first year pursuing a master's degree
in sport administration.
Later in June, Rew was voted to
the Capital One Academic All-America
Track and Cross Country Team as a
second-team Academic All-America
selection. She was listed on one of three
15-woman teams chosen by a College
Sports Information Directors of America
Rew earned the 13"" Academic
All-America Award by an NSU student-
athlete since 1986. It is the first won by
an NSU track and field competitor in
what is traditionally one of the toughest
Academic All-America teams to make.
A third of the 45 women honored have
perfect 4.0 GPAs, including seven on the
Voting for Academic All-America is
done by a national CoSIDA committee,
which considers first-team All-District
winners from eight regions around the
Rew is the first Lady Demon to cap-
ture a national title. She gave the North-
western track and field program its third
NCAA crown and first since 1990, when
Brian Brown won the NCAA Indoor
championship with a 7-8 leap in the high
jump. Brown also won the 1989 USA
Outdoor title by clearing 7-7.
The first NCAA track and field
championship captured by NSU came in
1981, when the foursome of Victor Oatis
Joe Delaney, Mario Johnson and Mark
Duper won it all in the 4x100 meter
relay. NSU remains the only FCS-level
Division I school to win an NCAA relay
title, indoors or outdoors.
Rew swept the Southland
Conference Indoor and Out-
door Track and Field Student-
Athlete of the Year honors.
She finished her career with
eight individual Southland
titles, winning the confer-
ence Field Event Athlete
of the Year award in the
final three SLC champion-
ships she entered.
The Louisiana Sports Writ-
ers Association named her the
201 1 state Female Field Events
Athlete of the Year on the All-
She is a three-time
ent in the sport by virtue
her finishes in the shot put and
discus at the last two NCAA
Outdoor Championships. She
was ninth in the 2010 NCAA
meet in the shot put.
The school and Southland
Conference record holder in both
events, she has personal bests of
192-4 in the discus and 57-0 'A in
the shot. Competing against some
of the world's best in late June at
the USA Track and Field Champion-
ships, Rew finished seventh in the
discus and 1 5"' in the shot put.
Rew will remain in graduate
school at NSU and will train for
international competition heading into
the 2012 Olympic year. She ultimately
plans to go into coaching.
Alumni Columns Fall 20 1 1 / 7
^ Michelle Hendrix-Nora, profes-
sional educator at Beloit Memorial
High School in Beloit, Wis., earned
a Herb Kohl L'ducational Foundation
Teacher Fellows Award. Hendrix-
Nora is a special education teacher,
specializing in math and work skills
areas of instruction. She received her
bachelor's degree at Hampton Uni-
versity in Virginia (2002), Master of
Arts in Advertising Design from the
Academy of Art University in Cali-
fornia (2004), and her Master of Arts
in Special Education from North-
western State University (2008).
Hendri.x-Nora developed the
Knightingales group for students to
use cheer, dance and other spirit-
related performances to enhance and
promote the spirit of the high school
community. In addition to the work
put into routines and event-planning,
students in the group are encouraged
to embody Purple Knight ideals by
volunteering to give back to their
community, promote respect among
the student body and strive to achieve
their potential in education and life.
An active participant in both
school and community, she is active-
ly involved in the Merrill Communi-
ty Center, Boys & Girls Club, Delta
Sigma Theta Sorority and in her
church as president of the publicity
and education committees, member
of the Youth Advisory Board, Vaca-
tion Bible School teacher and Free
Hot Lunch Program \(ilunteer.
w Pottery by Wayne Horton
(1970) was featured in June at the
Schepis Museum in Columbia. La.
Horton received a bachelor's degree
in advertising design at NSU and a
master's in ceramics at University
of Louisiana at Monroe. He retired
after 33 years as an art teacher at
Bastrop High School and is now on
faculty at ULM.
^ The late Al Dennis Jr. (1968)
was inducted into the Grambling
Legends Sports Hall of Fame in July.
Dennis, a New Orleans native and
World War II veteran, was one of
Grambling's most celebrated early
football captains. Playing from
1946-49, he was a two-time All-
America blocker for future College
Hall of Famer Paul "Tank" Younger.
In 1 968, he became the first African-
American to receive a master's de-
gree in health and physical education
from NSU. He coached and taught
for more than 45 years, notably at
Brown High in Springhill.
Susan Urankar McCormick
(1972) and Eliot Knowles (1966.
1972) were friends while married
to others for more than 40 years.
Both of their spouses passed
away and the two reconnected
two years ago. Susan Is a surgi-
cal nurse and runs a dog train-
ing center In Haughton. Eliot has
been the director of Rutherford
House In Shreveporl for 36 years.
The two marhed in Oaks Bluff on
Martha's Vineyard when they ar-
ranged to have the ceremony on
the Island as part of a three-week
cruise. "Love can happen at any
age," Eliot writes.
w Army Col. James F. Bowie
(1980) was honored with a retire-
ment ceremony in July recognizing
3 1 years of ser\ ice. The event was
held at Stafford House at Camp
Beauregard. Before his retirement,
he completed a three-\ear active
duty assignment w ith the Louisiana
National Guard as the state inspector
general. Bowie commissioned into
the transportation corps in 1980. He
held many positions, including times
as the commander of the 765* Trans-
portation Battalion in Fort Eustis,
Va., and served a combined total of
eight years in Korea.
Bowie's awards and decorations
include the federal and Louisiana Le-
gion of Merit, Defense Meritorious
Ser\ ice Medal, numerous Meritori-
ous Service Medals and Army Com-
mendation Medals, the Army Supe-
rior Unit Award and the Army StatT
Identification Badge. Bowie was
named the senior Army instructor for
the Junior Reserv e Otlicers' Train-
ing Corps at McKinle\ High School
in East Baton Rouge for the 20 1 1 - 1 2
school year. After graduation from
NSU, Bowie earned master's degrees
from Webster University and the U.S.
Army War College.
^ Carl Maddox was among the
outstanding athletes, coaches and
administrators to be inducted into
the LSU Athletic Hall of Fame this
year. The long-time athletic director
was inducted posthumously. A 1932
graduate of Louisiana Normal Col-
lege, he died in 1996 at the age of 83.
Maddox served as athletic direc-
tor at LSU from 1968-78 during
\\ Inch time he was responsible for
unprecedented growth in LSU's
athletics facilities and the dawn of
ilic age of women's varsity sports on
campus. Maddox served in various
capacities at LSU for a quarter of a
8 / Alumni Columns Rill 201 1
Visit our website at
Martha Koury of Leesville was recognized as an honorary
alumna of Northwestern State University. Mrs. Koury and her
husband Gene Koury annually host the Leesville Recruiting Re-
ception and support NSU through the Alumni Annual Fund and
the Athletic Annual Fund. Gene Koury is a 1963 graduate of
Northwestern. The couple's son. Matt Koury. is a 1995 gradu-
ate of NSU and their daughter-in-law, Martha Hooper Koury, a
2003 graduate, is the coordinator of student services at NSU's
Leesville campus. NSU President Dr. Randall J. Webb presented
the honor to Mrs. Koury during a luncheon in Natchitoches.
More than 30 alumni and initiates of
Kappa Alpha order from the 1960s to
the 1970s gathered at the Natchitoches
Shrine Club last spring to renew old ac-
quaintances, make new ones and honor
brother KAs who have passed away.
Planned by Martial Broussard (1969)
and Jim Pierson (1972) the group dined
on catfish provided by Wayne Branton
(1970). Members traveled from as far away as Atlanta to attend the gathering. The group plans to meet again in 2013, the 50th anniver-
sary of the founding of KA at NSU. On the front row from left are Martial Broussard, David Centanni, Rick Githens, John Garcia, Gary Pit-
tman, Jim Stevens, Tom Morales, Rick Oeder, Jimmie Brossette and Mike Tingle. On the back row are Mike Maloney, Tom Lawhon, Larry
Lieux, Bubba Atkins, Denman Shaffer, Dick Robertson, Sam Cooksey, Thom Williams, Steve Shine, Duan Ferrera, Dean Caldwell, Ralph
DeKemper, Glen Sapp, Malcolm Morris, Wayne Branton, Dickie McElhatten, Louis Ledet, David Poe, Warren Ward and Jim Pierson. Not
shown are Mike Restovich, Tom Whitehead and John Coleman.
century, including six years as assis-
tant football coach from 1954-59 and
eight years as director of the LSU
Union from 1960-68 before becom-
ing athletic director. The LSU Field
House was named in his honor.
Maddox also ser\'ed as athletic
director at Mississippi State from
1979-83 and in 1986 he received the
James J. Corbett Memorial Award
presented by the National Asso-
ciation of Collegiate Directors of
Athletics for lifetime achievement in
athletic administration. He is a mem-
ber of the Louisiana and Mississippi
Sports Halls of Fame, the LSU Tiger
Hall of Distinction, the Northwest-
em State University Athletic Hall of
Fame and the LSU Alumni Hall of
^ Dan McDonald (1975). alum-
nus and former sports information
director from 1975-80, was enshrined
in the College Sports Information
Directors of America (CoSIDA) Hall
of Fame last June, the highest award
presented by the organization. As a
student at Northwestern, he was the
student assistant SID under Pesky
Hill, spent two years on the campus
newspaper - one as editor - and was
part of the group that founded the
schooFs first radio station, KNSU, in
1974. He also was a stringer for Roll-
ing Stone magazine when musician
Jim Croce perished in a plane crash
in Natchitoches after a concert at
NSU. He earned his degree in three
After one year as a sportswriter
at the Alexandria Town Talk, North-
western hired the 22-year-old to
be the SID of what was about to
become a Division I athletics depart-
ment. After four years, he went to
then-Southwestern Louisiana (now
Louisiana-Lafayette), where he spent
the next 1 9 years.
He retired from USL to become
senior sports writer at the Lafayette
Daily Advertiser and over the next
nine years has won 34 writing awards
from the Louisiana Sports Writers
Association, including three 'Writer
of the Year' awards in a five-year
Today he serves as vice president
of McD Media, Inc., a marketing
and public relations firm in Lafay-
ette founded by his wife, Mary Beth
(1981). McDonald has a daughter,
Kristi, son-in-law Mike and three
Aluinni Columns Fall 201 7/9
Making an Impact
Call to Action scholarship recipients raise awareness of animal welfare
One can nc\ er underestimate the
impact that one or two individuals
can ha\ c for the greater good and
a unique scholarship initiated by
an Northwestern State University
alumna ofTers recipients valuable ex-
perience in affecting positive change.
The Call to Action Animal Welfare
Scholarship is a project-driven award
focused on raising awareness and
facilitating community action to im-
prove animal welfare through student
initiatives. Jennifer Walsh, a 1991
graduate of the Louisiana Scholars'
College, initiated the scholarship
to address animal welfare issues in
Natchitoches and give students an
opportunitN to develop leadership
and community engagement skills.
"The ideal student recipient is
one from any academic discipline
who wants the opportunity to com-
plete a project that is both challeng-
ing and rewarding in the lives they
affect, both for animals and humans."
Walsh said. "Recipients should not
only be passionate about helping
animals, but also be looking for
real-world experience. I want them to
reali/e that you don't have to have a
million dollars or be a public olTicial
to make a ditTerence."
Scholarship criteria seek students
who are motivated, task-oriented and
accomplishment driven. Hach must
submit a proposal and participate in
an interview process before selection.
"My goal was to make our ani-
mal shelter a more w elcoming place
and increase adoptions." said Shelb\
McCain of Natchitoches, the 2010-1 1
recipient. McCain coordinated the
creation of a designated area at the
entrance of the Natchitoches Animal
Shelter in which potential pet owners
can become better acquainted w ith
the animals in a friendlier environ-
"Through this process, I have
grown to learn better communication
skills because 1 have had to schedule
appointments with several different
people and groups in order to get this
project started." McCain said. "1 am
a psychology major, so this project
doesn't relate to my career field, but
I've had a special love for animals
for as long as I can remember and
with this project I am finally able to
help make a difference in animals'
As a result of this year's inter-
views. Walsh decided to award two
Call to Action scholarships. Emily
McGee of Florien and Michelle Al-
Ibrd of Deville are recipients for the
2011-12 academic year.
"1 was impressed with their com-
mitment." Walsh said. "They are both
grounded and focused with realistic
goals and are clearly committed to
McCiee. whose interest is equine
welfare, is developing a campaign
called Good Horse Sense. McGee
competes in rodeo events and was
ahead) doing demonstrations on
equme heallh when she heard abi>ut
the Call [o .Action Animal Welfare
"fhe Animal Welfare Scholar-
ship has allowed me to expand what
I'm doiiiLi to more sclumls in Natchi-
toches and Sabine parishes." she
said. "The kids love it. 1 alwavs bring
one of my rodeo horses and 1 tr> to
bring an abused horse and encour-
age adoption for the abused horse."
The abused horses come from those
rescued bv the Humane Societv in
Many, and McGee often has a hand
in their rehabilitation.
McGee dev eloped a website.
GoodHorseSense.com. a Facebook
page and an accompanying brochure
with tips and resource infomiation on
recognizing and reporting abused or
McGee is enrolled as a biology
major at NSU and plans to pursue
pharmacy or animal pharmaceutical
research as a career. The scholar-
ship is important because her savings
over the next three vears will see her
through pharmacv school. .As part of
the ser\ ice project, she will present
five equine health demonstrations per
semester and document her progress
in a report. She welcomes the oppor-
tunitv to speak at fairs, rodeos, fann
supply stores and other ev ents.
"I generallv talk to fourth grade
students, hut I hope to bring the mes-
sage to high schools and 4-H pro-
grams." she said.
She intends to continue her pro-
gram even after the scholarship ex-
pires and foresees continued etTorts
towards equine rescue and rehabilita-
tion in her future.
.Alford's plans are to develop a
dog training program to benefit Hope
1 / Alumni Columns Fall 201 1
Visit our website a
Burns scholarship will assist Anacoco students
After a long career as an educa-
tor, Billy John Bums intends to spend
his remaining years as a mentor to
students. Burns has demonstrated his
strong commitment to assist deserv-
ing students from his hometown by
establishing a scholarship at North-
western. First preference for the Billy
John and Judith Bums Scholarship
will be given to an incoming fresh-
man from Anacoco High School.
Bums, who lives in Bossier City,
eamed a B.A. in education at NSU
in 1954, M.A. in 1958 and plus 30 in
1966. Bom and reared in Anacoco,
he taught at Anacoco High School
for 3 1 years working at various times
as a social studies teacher, librarian,
assistant principal, principal, girls
basketball coach and co-sponsor of
the yearbook. He retired for one
year and moved to Shreveport, where
he taught for 14 years at Calvary
Baptist Academy and served as prin-
cipal from 1990-2000. Events from
his life and career are detailed in
an autobiography, "One Last Stroll
Down Memory Lane," completed in
Bums overcame tremendous
physical challenges as a child and
attended Northwestern on a rehabili-
"When I started at Northwestern.
I didn't have a job or any money. 1
got a rehabilitation scholarship and
graduated in three years," said Bums,
who after 45 years as an educator
continues to mentor and assist col-
Burns said the ideal candidate
for the NSU scholarship would be
someone with a financial need and
a strong interest in attending North-
western. As this year's recipient,
Sydney Sterling has demonstrated
Sydney Sterling, an honor student and
recent graduate of Anacoco High School,
is the first recipient of the Billy John and
Judith Burns Scholarship established a
for a student from Anacoco High School.
academic achievement, involvement
in extracurricular activities and good
character, he said.
"Ninety-five percent of my life is
behind me and in my last few years
1 am interested in helping others be-
cause when I was at Northwestem so
many people helped me," Bums said.
Making an Impact continued from page JO
for Paws, a Natchitoches non-profit organization dedi-
cated to the rescue, rehabilitation, fostering and adoption
of animals. Working with animals in obedience training
improves their chance for adoption, explained Alford,
who is a sophomore majoring in biology/pre-veterinary
Alford's father is a dog trainer and she has years
of experience training dogs to sit, heel, walk and obey
"It's important to be patient and steady with the ani-
mals," she said. Alford volunteers in caring for the Hope
for Paws dogs and has participated in adoption days.
She hopes to partner with the City of Natchitoches to
offer dog training classes to pet owners. She was already
considering volunteering to train the animals before she
heard about the scholarship. The financial benefit is
especially important now, as her father was diagnosed
earlier this year with a life-threatening illness.
"I wanted to be a veterinarian since I was 8 and I'm
happy to be getting closer to that reality," she said.
Walsh was in the first graduating class of the Loui-
siana Scholars' College where her concentration was
humanities and social thought. She eamed graduate de-
grees in public affairs from the University of Texas and
national security and strategic studies from the National
War College. She is employed with the U.S. Secretary
of Defense and is very involved with animal rescue in
the Washington, D.C., area. A visit to Natchitoches in
which she noticed a number of unhealthy, stray and feral
animals raised her concern about animal welfare in the
"I wanted to do something for NSU and create an
opportunity in which students realize they can make ac-
tion happen, they can develop their ideas and their ideas
can be validated," she explained.
Rather than be a one-time award, Walsh hopes
the Call to Action scholarship will encourage students
interested in animal welfare to take action and be held
accountable for bringing their initiatives to fruition.
Scholarship proposals are not limited to pets or
domestic animals; all projects that raise awareness of
animal welfare are considered.
"The purpose is for students to have ownership of a
project and see it through. This is a scholarship that will
give them experience in working with other people and
help them later in life," she said. "It's about them team-
ing the value of hard work, patience, persistence and
finding inner strength to keep going."
Alumni Columns Fall 201 7/11
Bonnette Memorial Golf Tournament
Members of the Bonnette family were
present for the Bonnette Memorial Golf
Tournament. On the front row from left are
Ben Lambert, Vera Bonnette, Anna Vera
Nickel and Emily Jo Lambert. On the back
row are Danny Lambert. Paula Bonnette
Nelson, Claire Nelson. Brian Allen Nelson,
Lisa Bonnette Lambert, Brian Lambert,
Randy Bonnette and Hunter Talley.
Vera Bonnette, center, presented awards
to first place winners in Flight One of the
Bonnette Golf Tournament. From left are
Zach Trichel, Drake Harrington, Bonnette,
Jared Donahoe and Tyler Trichel.
Vera Bonnette. center, presented
awards to first place winners in Flight
Two of the Bonnette Golf Tourna-
ment. From left are Chuck Levy,
Catherine Levy, Bonnette, Joe Bea-
sley and Chris Levy.
Chris Roper Golf Tournament
First place winners in the annual Chris
Roper Golf Tournament, held April 30 at
Northwestern Hills, were Richard Tew,
Bill DeCour, Rickey McBride and De-
Second place winners were Charlie In-
gals, Danny Nolen, Randy Robinson and
Third place winners were Sam Fowl-
er, Bryan Edens, Steven Wood and
Rick and Mary Roper, parents of the late Chris
Roper, introduced Jackson McNeil, center, as the
recipient of the 2011 Chris Roper Scholarship.
There is one year left in Northwestern
State's current Capital Campaign.
"Excellence: Yesterday. Today and
Tomorrow." Gifts have come in the form of
annual fund pledges, million dollar estate
gifts and corporate matching funds. The
Capital Campaign total currently sits at
$20 million and the university is striving
to reach its goal of $25 million by June
30, 2012. The Alumni Association would
like to thank all of our faithful alumni that
have supported the Capital Campaign. For
more information on how to contnbute to
the Capital Campaign, contact the Office of
UniversityAdvancement at (318) 3574414.
1 2 / Aluiuni Columns FjII 201 1
Visit our website a
Briggs' 90th birthday swim raises funds for Cenia nursing, rad tech students
Northwestern nursing students con-
gratulated Dr. Harry Briggs at the
completion of a swim across Kincaid
Lake to celebrate his 90th birthday.
The occasion also served as a fund-
raiser for NSU's Cenla Center in Al-
exandria. The benefit took place at
Tunk's Cypress Inn. On the front row
from left are Ansley Thiels, Jeannie
Joy, Katrina Myers, Lauren Williams,
Kayla Hilger, Briggs, Brandi Martin,
Michelle Watts with daughter Lily and
Dana Zimmerman. On the back row
are Racquel Ravare, Michelle Shim-
ko, Megan Basco, Justin McDaniel,
Tiffany Achord, Paula Teta, Kara
Johnson, Lisha Edwards and Brooke
Cox. The May 19 event was the third
time Briggs has completed a swim on
Kincaid Lake and the second time the
occasion was designated as a schol-
arship fundraiser. Briggs, a political
science instructor at NSU's Leesville
campus, initiated several scholarship
endowments to benefit current and fu-
ture NSU students.
Alum surprises mom with honorary scholarship
"1"" ormer Drum Major Bruston Manuel (2003) has
created an endowed scholarship to honor his
-Ik. mother in thanks for her positive influence on his
life. The Carolyn Smith Manuel Music Scholarship will
be presented to an upperclassman music education major.
First preference will be given to a male student who par-
ticipates in the NSU choir and marching band.
"My mom loves music," Bruston Manuel said. "She
was in her high school band, the McNeese State Univer-
sity band and she attended all my concerts. She's done
a lot for me and I want to pay it forward. She was very
good about letting me pave my own way."
Carolyn Manuel, a retired math and science teacher,
lives in Kinder.
Bruston Manuel began his college career as a mu-
sic education major and later changed to vocal music,
perfomiing with the concert and chamber choirs. After
graduating in 2003, he moved to New York City, began
auditioning for musical theatre roles and discovered an
affinity for the business side of Broadway. While still
auditioning, he worked for a private family-run office,
which influenced him to start his own company. Paper
Boy Productions. He and a friend started the production
company last year which has co-produced three Broad-
way productions thus far.
Among his fond memories of NSU, Manuel listed
the family atmosphere and nurturing environments he
experienced in the music department and the Spirit of
Northwestern. As a performer, he also gained experience
in predicting what an audience will positively respond to.
"My training at Northwestern gave me a vast amount
of experiences which I use to help me pick musicals that
have a subject matter that appeal to a broad range of
people." he said. "I often think back to when I was in col-
lege and draw on what types of perfonnances audiences
responded most to."
Manuel, who also contributed to the band's uniform
drive, surprised his mother with news of the scholarship
on Mother's Day.
"This year has been particularly good for me," he
said. "I felt like the next best gift I could give my mom,
besides going home, was something that could give
another individual the opportunity that I had. When she
saw the certificate, she was very honored."
Alumni Columns Fall 201 1/13
Scholarship will benefit first generation students
J. Kirby is a partner in Burleson LLP.,
marned and lives in Houston.
Rosalyn Anne Scroggs Beall is a retired
Rapides Parish speech therapist and
currently employed as a speech pathologist
with the Aurora R-8 School System. She is
marned and lives in Cape Fair, Mo.
Antoinette Pittman is employed by the
Vernon Pansh School Board as a first grade
teacher at North Polk Elementary, marned
and lives in Fort Polk.
1931 - Nevada Self Salter May 23, 2011,
1933 - Joe P Durham Sr, May 29, 2011,
1935 - Dr. George T. Walker, June 19,
1938 - Pete Antie, December 27, 2007,
1939 - Eunice Koonce Novi/lin, June 15,
1939 - Marion C. Waguespack, July 11.
1946- Shirley Babin Frost, May 16, 2011,
1949 - Juanita Cordozier Kilpatnck, July 15,
1954- Ben Brewton,Apnl 14,2011,
1954, 1961 - Kenneth Shaw, July 26, 2011,
1957- Daniel Chase, June 1,2011,
1960- WandaGunn, May5, 2011,
1962 - Dr Dencil R Taylor. Aug. 6, 2011,
Wichita Falls, Texas
1965 - Dons Hanna Pitts, May 27, 2011,
1977 - Dr Gregory Ellis Garland, April 9,
2011, Palm Bay, Fla.
1990- Rangi Jason Lim, May 16. 2011,
For more Alumni I pdales
please visit our n'ch\ite:
A Northwestern State University
alumna and World War II veteran
is helping first generation college
students through an endowed schol-
arship that was supplemented w ith
state matching funds. The Ida l:mil\
Simpson First Generation Endowed
Scholarship will be created through
the Louisiana Board of Regents Sup-
port fund that matches S60,00() w ith
$40,000 to create an endowed schol-
arship in the amount of 5100,000.
*'Ms. Simpson inquired about
state matching funds for scholarships
and we informed her about an oppor-
tunity to endow a scholarship for first
generation college students. "" said
Drake Owens, director of University
Advancement and executive director
of the NSU Foundation.
Simpson's early life was diffi-
cult and earning her education was a
struggle. Bom in 1922, Simpson was
orphaned as a child and cared for by
neighbors and relatives. She gradu-
ated as valedictorian of her class at
Monterey High School and planned
to attend nursing school, but the lady
w ith w hom she w as li\ ing encour-
aged her to attend college at Loui-
siana Normal, as Northwestern was
then know n. She enrolled on a work
scholarship and had wanted to pursue
journalism, but her caregiver dis-
couraged the idea. Instead. Simpson
earned a degree in health and physi-
Follow ing graduation, she
enlisted in the Army in 1943. Dur-
ing a 20-year Army career, she w as
stationed in Lngland. France, (ier-
many and the U.S. After the war.
stationed both stateside and abroad,
she worked for mililaiA newspapers
and in public inlbrmation otTices. do-
ing public relations work ami news-
writing, including serxnig as head of
the public information office at Fort
Monroe. Va. She retired in .hily 1964
as Sgt. First Class E-7. Alter her dis-
Ida Simpson presented a donation
to the NSU Foundation to initiate a
scholarship for first generation college
students. The donation \ivas present-
ed to Director of University Advance-
ment Drake Owens.
charge, she lived in New Orleans for
20 years, where she became an avid
golfer, before mo\ ing to Florida to be
near friends and relativ es. She now
resides in Washington. D.C.
"Ms. Simpson was delighted
w ith the prospect of creating this
scholarship for first generation stu-
dents and know ing that her contribu-
tion was enhanced so much b\ the
match." Ow ens said. "'She has a
great lo\e for this school."
Simpson previously supported
Northwestern through contributions
towards a scholarship for a female
student earning a degree in journal-
ism and was among the donors who
contributed at the highest level to the
NSU's first professorship in militarv
science, the Demon Regiment En-
dowed Professorship, in acknowledg-
ment of her career of serv ice in the
U.S. Army. For this contribution, she
was presented with the Regimental
Saber Award. Simpson's scholarship
in iournalism will be awarded to a
student pursuing a degree in com-
munications with a concentration in
1 4 / Alumni Columns f'.ill 201 1
Vi.sit our website at:
WHy I Love ^SV
In September of 1961 my parents drove me from Smackover, Ark., to
Natchitoches with a suit case, a box of bed linens, a portable type-
writer and a clock radio. I was about to embark on a journey of which
I had only dreamed. I was assigned to Agnes Morris Dormitory and
it was about supper time that my family left me with my clothes un-
packed, the bed made, many instructions and $20 in my purse. Due
to some rearrangements in the roommate selections I found that I did
not have a roommate so I bravely joined a group of girls who were
going to the cafeteria. It was at one end of the square formed by the
four freshman girl's dorms. I thought the grounds were beautiful. The
food was slightly less exciting than the line of cute boys serving trays.
I had never felt such freedom and independence in my life!! I was in
Very soon I made friends and found a roommate. The courses were
exciting, and as a nursing major I was very taken with the nursing
skills lab and the procedures that we learned. I have yet to this day
to see anything like those outfits we wore for PE. I loved the football
games and when the State Fair Game was played in Shreveport midst
the huge chrysanthemums and purple ribbons I felt I had truly arrived
in the big city life. The Christmas lights and parades on the banks of
Cane River were a spectacle that has stayed with me all my life result-
ing in many adult trips on the first Saturday in December to show my
family the lights.
I was very sad when the time came for nursing majors to move to
Shreveport for clinicals. I considered changing my major in order to
stay, but my parents refused to pay out of state fees for a major I could
get in Arkansas. Many of my friends were moving to Shreveport as
well so we made the adjustment to the very different life style leading
to our BSN degree. I still remember some of the patients that I worked
with and I know our faculty prepared us well. After a semester or two,
Florence Nightingale had nothing on us!!
The trips back to campus to visit friends kept me connected to the
wonderful world of Northwestern. The semesters passed quickly and
in May of 1965 1 graduated. I returned to Arkansas and went to work in
Little Rock. I was marhed in 1969 and we raised two daughters. I was
widowed in 1999. That BSN degree provided me with many oppor-
tunities over my forty year career. I worked in education most of my
career retiring in 2005 as Director of Development and Student Affairs
from University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, College of Nursing.
- Benni Sue Johnson Ogden Fambwugh (1965)
Family establishes scholarship to honor 1932 alumna
A DeSoto Parish family is honoring
their loved one by establishing an endowed
scholarship in her name at NSU. The Mary
Leigh Marshall Gallaspy Endowed Scholar-
ship will be awarded to a junior or senior
enrolled in the Department of Family and
Consumer Sciences at NSU. Preference will
be given to a student first from DeSoto Par-
ish and second from Sabine Parish.
The Mary Leigh Marshall Gallaspy En-
dowed Scholarship was established through
a donation to the NSU Foundation from the
Gallaspy family and the San Patricio Cattle
Company, LLC. who contributed $120,000
to the scholarship.
Mary Leigh Marshall Gallaspy was
bom Feb. 23. 1913, in a log house on Al-
lendale Plantation near Stonewall to a fam-
ily with deep roots in DeSoto Parish. She
graduated from Stonewall High School in
1928. the youngest graduate ever from that
school. In the fall of 1928, she arrived at
Louisiana State Normal College, as NSU
was then known, and graduated four years
later with a degree in home economics. She
was otTered a scholarship for graduate study
at LSU, but declined after receiving a job
offer to teach home economics at Pelican
High School. She arrived in Pelican by
train from Stonewall to begin teaching in
the fall of 1932.
She married Francis Norman Gallaspy
Aug. 10, 1938, and moved to his family
home in Pelican, where she still resides. She
ended her teaching career in 1 939 to become
a full time homemaker. She and Norman
Mary Leigh Marshall
the San Patri-
c i o Cattle
C o m p a n \
1974, which »
G a 1 1 a s p y ^
members. After his death in 1988 she be-
came president of SPCCo, diligently carry-
ing out all the duties involved until five years
ago when her health became more delicate.
"She was a wonderful record keeper," ac-
cording to her daughter, Kathleen Gallaspy
"Before she turned 90, Mother did her
own household chores as well as managing
SPCCo. I cannot imagine a person whose
homemaking skills could be any more per-
fect than hers were," Myers said. "Just as
some of her former students have com-
mented through the years when sharing their
memories of her appearance - 'she never had
a hair out of place" — she seemed never to
have anything undone in her home. There
was never a dirty dish left to be washed and
dried after a meal. Even today, she is un-
comfortable if shades are not pulled down at
the same level at each window and curtain
ties do not match.
"Perhaps something could be said
about changes she has seen in her life — no
running water, no gas or electricity or in-
door plumbing compared to today's lifestyle.
She has basically lived in only two houses
throughout her 98 years - the 1 854 Allen-
dale log house in Stonewall and the 1920s
home in Pelican where she now resides."
"It is obvious from Mrs. Gallaspy's very
successful life management skills that she
was a wonderful student and role model with
a 'can do' spirit," said Dr. Patricia Pierson,
head of the Department of Family and Con-
sumer Science, which is marking a centen-
nial this year. "Although the name of our
profession has changed through the years,
its mission remains to improve the lives of
individuals, families and communities and
Mrs. Gallaspy has certainly done that her
entire life. She will continue to touch and
improve students' lives through she and her
family's marvelous generosity."
"Our family has been blessed, espe-
cially in recent years, by the sacrifices my
grandparents made to build up their prop-
erty holdings," said Dr. Leigh Ann Myers,
professor of mathematics at NSU and Mrs.
Gallaspy 's granddaughter. "We recognize
the importance of NSU's commitment to
educating the people of northwest Louisiana,
which has continued throughout its history
and served three generations of our family,
beginning with my grandmother. We are
pleased to help students and the department
of Family and Consumer Sciences in her
Alumni Columns Fall 201 7/15
The NSU Entertainers
The Entertainers were a campus vocal group that represented Northwestern at events
in Louisiana and the surrounding area by performing music from the recording in-
dustry's biggest stars. Selection was by audition. The Entertainers from 1980-81
included Brent Thibodaux, Natalie Craig, Don Brewer, Scott Stuart. Leigh Wood,
Vickie Corley, Randy Walker, Mark LaCour and Jimmy Davis. Under the direction
of Dr. William Hunt, the Entertainers performed at the Louisiana State Fair, the Red
River Revel, in conjunction with the icviy Lewis Telethon for Muscular Dystrophy,
the 54th Natchitoches Christmas Festival, the International Arabian Horse Associ-
ation convention in Dallas, the 96th annual Homecoming, a television special on
KALB-Alexandria and at many hitzh schools in the south.
Two Queens reigned over Homecoming Fes-
ti\ ities at Northwestern in the fall of 1960. Can
\ou name the Homecoming Queen, the Honor-
ary Queen and their court?
The first fi\e alumni to call the Alumni Center
at (318) 357-4414 with the coiTcct answers will
win a prize.
Pictured in the Summer 201 1 edition of Guess
Who: Barbara Jean LUirbach. Judy Bob Rob-
erts. Linda Lattier. Charlotte Bcebe and Vicky
"Guess Who" winners from Summer 2011:
Steve Murphy (1964)
Judy Easiey (1963)
Helen West Moses (1963)
1 6 / Alumni L oliinms f'.ill IfOI I
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If you would like information from Admissions, Financial Aid or
the NSU Athletic Association, you can contact them at the following address
Natchitoches, LA 71497
(318)357-4503 or 800-327-1903
Room 109, Roy Hall
Natchitoches, LA 71497
Room 101C, Athletic Fieldhouse
Natchitoches, LA 71497
Northwostern State University
Natchitoches, LA 71497-0002
1st Row: Juanita Miller Brumley, Helen Armadine Miller Wright, Gail Rucker Schwarzbach, Beth Savill Hill, Ellen Stella Holmes
Craig, Marty Cooley Dnggers, Ursula Wahl Williams. Barbara Beebe Wolf, Jerre Prestndge Perry, Ann Wilson Oberle & Mary Eloise
Caraway Walden. 2nd Row: Marie Michel Masson, Linda Fedd Culpepper, Manetta Hammock Booth, Gerry Haworth Sexton, Edith
Mothershed Hawkins, Michaelene Beckman Flasch, Patricia Pittman Cantrell, Jo Ann R. Gregg, Judith Wright Ibsen, Nell Gatlin
Bankston & Mary Eleanor Harper Bonnette. 3rd Row: Michelle Drane Smith, Jill Kelley Riel, Martha Louise Fletcher Hoolahan, Mary
Sebren Jordan, Diana Jordan Hart, Sarah Oliver Todd. Rita Raye Findley Bozeman, Frances Jackson Freeman, Blanche Helen
Miller Harnson, Sandra McCalla, Louvenia McGee Carter & Peggy Joe Robinson Pike. 4th Row: Wayne Louis Williamson, Ralph
E. McNabb, Jr., Lovick H. Johnson, III, James Douglas Harns, John M, Millar, Frank L. Peske, Rastus O'Neil Massey, Robert Earl
Turner, David Franklin Eason, Mack Daniel Knotts, Harry L, Goodfellow, Jerry H. Nonfood, John I. Morrow, William Paul Spillers.
Cecil Franklin Easley, Jr., Carolyn Roberts Davenport & B.J. Lewis.